NPR’s Health News has the story:
Stanford law professor and bioethicist Hank Greely predicts that in the future most people in developed countries won’t have sex to make babies. Instead they’ll choose to control their child’s genetics by making embryos in a lab.
On KQED’s Forum program, Michael Krasny spoke with Greely about his new book, The End of Sex and the Future of Human Reproduction. Greely highlights the ethical and legal questions that might arise in the future’s reproductive paradigm.
14 Καὶ ὁ λόγος σὰρξ ἐγένετο καὶ ἐσκήνωσεν ἐν ἡμῖν, καὶ ἐθεασάμεθα τὴν δόξαν αὐτοῦ, δόξαν ὡς μονογενοῦς παρὰ πατρός, πλήρης χάριτος καὶ ἀληθείας. (John 1:14 NA28)
14 And the Word became flesh and tabernacled among us. and we gazed upon his glory, glory as of the only one from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14 translated from the NA28 Greek text)
One of my favorite passages in Sacred Scripture is Psalms 23. One part of that really speaks to me is v3 where David wrote about God saying, “He restores my soul;” There are many times where I find myself in a place where I desperately need for God to do for me what David describes in this Psalm.
1 The Lord is my shepherd,
I shall not want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside quiet waters.
3 He restores my soul;
He guides me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You have anointed my head with oil;
My cup overflows.
6 Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life,
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. (Psalms 23:1-6 NASB)
I write this motivated from my Lord’s own work in my heart over the past several days as God has indeed “restored my soul.” The battle against apostasy and seeing how the visible church is becoming more and more symbolic and less and less genuinely focused on what the Apostle John calls “Spirit and Truth” has caused me to become susceptible to attacks from the enemy all designed to discourage and distract. However, God allows us to be attacked like that. He allows us to be taken into the valley of the shadow of death and so be tested that we may become more and more reliant on God’s grace and less and less on ourselves. After these trials, he will take us to a quiet place of restoration and recovery, and, for me, that is to dig into and exegete His Word for His glory and the edification of the Body of Christ. Hence, we will look at John 1:1-18 and the Word that became flesh or “the Incarnate Word.”
According to former transgender Walt Heyer, “Research studies from 2013 and 2009 looking for a ‘transgender gene’ showed not a smidgeon of abnormality in the genetic make-up that causes someone to be transgender.” In a piece over at The Daily Signal Heyer lays out some of the serious problems facing those who are transgender persons:
For instance, a 2016 study comparing 20 Lebanese transgender participants to 20 control subjects reported that transgender individuals suffer from more psychiatric pathologies compared to the general population. More than 50 percent had active suicidal thoughts and 45 percent had had a major depressive episode.
While it may not be politically correct to link psychological disorders with the transgender population, the researchers see the evidence that a link exists. As a former transgender person, I wish the guy who approved me for gender surgery would have told me about the risks.
Christian News Network reports:
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump recently stated that he hopes he won’t have to seek forgiveness for much from God when it was again noted that despite his claims to be a Christian, he admits he doesn’t think about the need for personal forgiveness and repentance.
He was interviewed by conservative talk show host and author Cal Thomas about a variety of issues, from Trump’s opinion on entitlement programs, to education, to his first executive orders if elected as president. He was also asked about his failure to admit that he needs forgiveness.
“Every president has called upon God at some point. Lincoln spoke of not being able to hold the office of the presidency without spending time on his knees. You have confessed that you are a Christian,” Thomas told the presumptive Republican nominee.
18 Ὁ λόγος γὰρ ὁ τοῦ σταυροῦ τοῖς μὲν ἀπολλυμένοις μωρία ἐστίν, τοῖς δὲ σῳζομένοις ἡμῖν δύναμις θεοῦ ἐστιν. 19 γέγραπται γάρ·
ἀπολῶ τὴν σοφίαν τῶν σοφῶν
καὶ τὴν σύνεσιν τῶν συνετῶν ἀθετήσω. (1 Corinthians 1:18-19 NA28)
18 For the word of the cross to those perishing is senseless, but to us being saved, it is the power of God 19 for it has been written,
‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise ones
and the understanding of the intelligent I will set aside.’ (1 Corinthians 1:18-19 translated from the NA28 Greek text)
Look at those man-focused, pragmatic, seeker-sensitive “churches” seemingly all around us in our time. They may vary in many ways, but there is a commonality that marks them all as products of the spirit of Laodicea (Revelation 3:14-22) rather than the spirit of Philadelphia (Revelation 3:7-13). That commonality is seen in the passage I placed at the top of this post. It is what makes them of the spirit of Laodicea. They are structured and operate according to the wisdom of men. Their very way of handling the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ depletes the cross of its power. What do I mean? When the “so-called gospel” that is “preached” is given in a way that intentionally removes its offense and an attempt is made to make it sensible to the lost and dying world by removing the blood and removing the necessity of our Lord’s death for those who owed a debt to God they could never pay, well, what is given is more of a sales pitch and self-help remedy. All this does is create a body of people who are neither cold nor hot. No, they believe they have everything and are right with God, but are in reality, wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked who are simply ready for the next deceiver to come along.
11 Ἀναχθέντες δὲ ἀπὸ Τρῳάδος εὐθυδρομήσαμεν εἰς Σαμοθρᾴκην, τῇ δὲ ἐπιούσῃ εἰς Νέαν πόλιν 12 κἀκεῖθεν εἰς Φιλίππους, ἥτις ἐστὶν πρώτη [ς] μερίδος τῆς Μακεδονίας πόλις, κολωνία. Ἦμεν δὲ ἐν ταύτῃ τῇ πόλει διατρίβοντες ἡμέρας τινάς. (Acts 16:11-12 NA28)
11 And having set sail from Troas, we ran a straight course to Samothrace, and on the next day to Nepalis 12 and from there to Philippi, which is a prominent city of the District of Macedonia, a colony, and we stayed in this city some days. (Acts 16:11-12 translated from the NA28 Greek text)
Paul’s friend and companion Luke wrote the Gospel of Luke and the book of Acts in the New Testament. In Acts 16:10, we read that after Paul and seen the vision to leave Asia and come to Europe after seeking the will of God for the next focus of his missionary journey, Luke includes himself in the narrative as an eyewitness, therefore, his account of what happened to Paul and Silas in Philippi are given as one who was there.
Jeff Maples of Pulpit & Pen warns us to watch out for a highly unbiblical teaching that has wormed its way into the visible Church: Vision-casting. If what you’re about to hear in the video is taught in the church you attend, it may be time to high-tail it out of there and start looking for another church.
According to Christian News Network, “These are the words of the presumptive nominee of the Republican Party during a recent speech in Dallas, Texas Thursday night as the candidate works to court women and openly homosexual voters.”
CNN has the video.
Mike Gonzalez of The Daily Signal wonders how a person born and raised in America can turn into a terrorist bent on executing his fellow countrymen. Gonzalez makes the point that Americans need to feel like they’re part of something bigger than themselves. He writes:
Despite signs everywhere that the Orlando massacre has failed to bring the country together, there seems to be a growing consensus on at least one point—considering a return to E Pluribus Unum.
This is a national debate that conservatives have long demanded and should relish having.
3 Συγκακοπάθησον ὡς καλὸς στρατιώτης Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ. (2 Timothy 2:3 NA28)
3 Take your part in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. (2 Timothy 2:3 translated from the NA28 Greek text)
Over the last few years I have been sorely tempted by our enemy into despairing of this ministry. Why? This happens as my focus goes inward and with that always comes a sense of my sinfulness and unworthiness to even be called a Christian. I look at those whom God uses to feed me spiritually and I see how small I am. How can God use one such as me? What have I done in the past to help me through these times? I look at the biographies of men such as William Tyndale and John Bunyan. Bunyan is a great role model for us. As we read of Bunyan’s early Christian walk, it soon becomes apparent that there are some parallels with how God uses not only me, but many others like me in these dark times. The well educated and those with large ministries are more often then not the ones who are on the road to apostasy just as in Bunyan’s day. Bunyan was barely educated and his only education in theology was from the Word of God and sitting at the feet of his pastor. God raised him up to do a mighty work in the Church, but it was one that involved much suffering.
Bill Muehlenberg of Culture Watch examines how Islam, Judaism and Christianity view homosexuality. Do all three of these monotheistic religions affirm death for homosexuals? According to Muehlenberg,
Homosexuality is condemned in all three monotheistic religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. While there are some similarities found on this issue in all three, there are also some major differences. Here I wish to focus on just one aspect of this: homosexuality and the death penalty.
In short, Judaism and Islam both call for the death penalty on this, while New Testament Christianity does not. But this needs to be much more fully explained. Part of the reason I raise this issue here is because the enemies of Christianity love to abuse and misuse all this.
Christian News Network reports:
In an incident that some are calling “demonic,” a viral online video shows a California abortionist confronting a man last week with scissors while declaring his love for killing babies and his refusal to turn to Christ.
The confrontation took place at Family Planning Associates in San Diego on Saturday as Zephaniah Mel stood outside of the facility preaching the gospel and calling those inside to repent.
“You’ve got to repent, sir, from murdering babies,” Mel states calmly as he sees abortionist Robert Santella, 72, step outside.
31 νῦν κρίσις ἐστὶν τοῦ κόσμου τούτου, νῦν ὁ ἄρχων τοῦ κόσμου τούτου ἐκβληθήσεται ἔξω· 32 κἀγὼ ἐὰν ὑψωθῶ ἐκ τῆς γῆς, πάντας ἑλκύσω πρὸς ἐμαυτόν. 33 τοῦτο δὲ ἔλεγεν σημαίνων ποίῳ θανάτῳ ἤμελλεν ἀποθνῄσκειν. (John 12:31-33 NA28)
31 “Now is the judgment of this world. The ruler of this world will be cast out 32 when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all men to myself.” 33 And in this saying, He was signifying by what kind of death He was about to die. (John 12:31-33 translated from the NA28 Greek text)
In this passage (John 12:12-50) we are in that six-day period leading up to our Lord’s last Passover feast. Of course, we know that He was also crucified just prior to the Sabbath of this week so in these last few days our Lord is done with the confrontational stands against the Jewish religious leaders. Now, He is preparing His disciples for what is coming. They still do not get it. Remember, we look at our Lord’s words of His sovereignty, His deity, and joyful submission to the authority to the Father who, in turn, joyfully gives Him all authority throughout creation because of His obedience. Yes, we see this, but remember, He had not yet gone to the Cross nor had He been resurrected. What is so puzzling to those of us who take God’s good doctrines to heart and defend His Gospel with our all is why there are so many wolves in sheep’s clothing in our time with their huge churches running amuck in the visible church causing, seemingly, much damage. What we must never forget my brethren is that this is nothing new and our Lord has all this under control. We must stay the course in our obedience and submission to the Lordship of Christ in all things. Those who are in our Lord’s sheepfold are in no danger of being snatched away. Those falling away into apostasy were never in His sheepfold to begin with.
Bud Ahlheim of Pulpit & Pen examines what he deems are some of the problems with the Southern Baptist Convention. He believes the SBC “has set aside the sound teaching of Biblical truth. That it is “seeking the touchy-feely warm fuzzies that seem to soothe the unrepentant soul. Rather than edifying the believer, the SBC pursues ecstatic entertainment to appeal to goats.” He writes:
Pastor Ronnie Floyd, president, Southern Baptist Convention. Photo courtesy Pulpit & Pen
If you web wander over to the Baptist Press today (June 15) – today being the day after Ronnie Floyd’s 2016 National Call to Prayer for Spiritual Leadership, Revived Churches Nationwide, and Global Awakening – you will find numerous stories about the Southern Baptist Convention’s second day of business.
There was, of course, the vote for a new president which, according to the Christian Post, could be a turning point for the convention as it determines “whether Millennial Reformed Theology Represents The Future” for the denomination. The vote, if you don’t know, lacked the necessary majority. It has gone to a runoff with consideration of the issue carried over to today’s business.
According to The Daily Signal:
A recently released report confirms what Common Core critics have suspected all along: Common Core State Standards do not adequately prepare students for college-level work.
The ACT report finds many concerning shortcomings in the Common Core State Standards, which have been adopted by most states. Notably, the report reveals:
9 Ἔγνω οὖν [ὁ] ὄχλος πολὺς ἐκ τῶν Ἰουδαίων ὅτι ἐκεῖ ἐστιν καὶ ἦλθον οὐ διὰ τὸν Ἰησοῦν μόνον, ἀλλʼ ἵνα καὶ τὸν Λάζαρον ἴδωσιν ὃν ἤγειρεν ἐκ νεκρῶν. 10 ἐβουλεύσαντο δὲ οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς ἵνα καὶ τὸν Λάζαρον ἀποκτείνωσιν, 11 ὅτι πολλοὶ διʼ αὐτὸν ὑπῆγον τῶν Ἰουδαίων καὶ ἐπίστευον εἰς τὸν Ἰησοῦν. (John 12:9-11 NA28)
9 Therefore, when the great crowd of Jews knew that Jesus was there, they came not because of Him only, but also because of Lazarus that they may see whom He raised from the dead. 10 But the Chief Priests took counsel that they might kill Lazarus also, 11 because of him many were going away and believing in Jesus. (John 12:9-11 translated from the NA28 Greek text)
The hard heart that is in the darkness of unbelief simply will not believe even when given irrefutable evidence. That is what the earthly ministry of our Lord was. He fulfilled those prophecies of the Messiah exactly that were given by those Old Testament prophets that the fathers of these very men also persecuted and killed. John made it clear in the dialogues and the examples of miracles by our Lord in the face of the opposition by these men that they were without excuse. The same is true today. Christianity is not a religion based on feelings or liver shivers or whatever. No, it is based on clear, irrefutable historical evidence of what our Lord did and said. Those who hated Him killed Him, but He was resurrected on the third day and Ascended into Heaven 10 days before Pentecost. All of this was witnessed by multitudes of people and no one has ever been able to prove any of it wrong. The evidences of the truth were all from eyewitnesses. The evidences of naysayers are all from people who hate the truth who were not even there. In any case, in this post we will look at some of the events that took place in the last few days before our Lord’s arrest and crucifixion as recorded in John 11:45-12:11.
According to one of the club’s regular customers, the terrorist “was a homosexual and he was trying to pick up men. He would walk up to them and then he would maybe put his arm round them or something … That’s what people do at gay bars. That’s what we do.” The Guardian has the story:
The gunman who killed 49 people in an attack on a gay nightclub in Orlando is said to have been a regular at the venue and had messaged several people on gay dating apps, according to reports.
An unnamed FBI official told the Associated Press on Tuesday that the bureau was investigating the claims.
At least four regular customers said they had seen killer Omar Mateen drinking at the nightclub on multiple occasions. “Sometimes he would go over in the corner and sit and drink by himself, and other times he would get so drunk he was loud and belligerent,” Ty Smith told the Orlando Sentinel.
Justin Holcomb of Townhall has the story:
The United Cyber Caliphate, an offshoot of the ISIS cyber warfare group, has released a list that includes names, addresses, and email addresses belonging to over 8,000 people, making it one of the longest target lists ISIS-affiliated groups have distributed.